10 Questions with John Di Lemme
John Di Lemme’s entire career has revolved around changing lives and turning around businesses. His strategic consulting and marketing expertise has generated over 100 Million Dollars in business for his clients. John has the unique, uncanny ability to recommend and suggest strategic business concepts and ideas to produce what others may not see for themselves. He sees the unforeseen with his faithful marketing eyes and studies relentlessly to stay in the forefront of emerging business trends, market opportunities, and potential profitability. John's overall goal is to not only help his clients dramatically improve their bottom line, but also build a rock-solid customer base that will support their businesses for years to come. John is also a recognized international speaker and has spoken in over five hundred venues around the globe. This is truly an amazing feat for someone that was clinically diagnosed as a stutterer at a young age and told that he would never speak fluently.
Why are you passionate about the topic you speak about?
I’m passionate about the topic that I speak about, because I’m laser focused on teaching individuals and businesses two enormously important things – how to overcome fear and provide extreme customer service. When most people hear that they say, “Oh, I’m not scared of anything.” But as a Coach and Speaker that has worked with thousands of people over my 18- year career, I know the real truth. Fear prevents people from making out-of-the-box, crazy decisions and taking risks that will lead to record-breaking results. Fear keeps people stuck in their comfort zones of mediocrity. As for providing extreme customer service, businesses will never achieve their ultimate goals, because they don’t focus on the lifeblood of their business…their customers. The root of business success is service. If you don’t serve the people that are loyal to your business, then you will fail. It’s inevitable! Teaching others how to overcome fear and provide extreme customer service keeps me motivated to keep forging forward, because I know that there are lives depending on my commitment. I will never give up on them!
What is the best advice you have ever received as an expert, speaker or coach?
The best advice that I’ve ever received as an expert coach and speaker was from Jim Rohn, the grandfather of self-development. I was speaking at a seminar with Jim, and we both had flown in early. I remember sitting in the back of the room with him when he looked at me and said, “John, I believe if you stay clean that you’ll be one of the greatest speakers ever.” I didn’t know what that meant back then, but after many years of speaking and coaching, I now know that he was telling me to stay the course and never compromise on who I am. Stay committed to and focused on my long-term goal of changing lives around the world. Staying clean also means not associating with toxic people. I’ve walked away from many speaking engagements and deals over the years, because I knew in my gut that I didn’t want to be around people that would compromise my integrity or make others question who I really am. Jim Rohn’s advice has stayed with me all of these years and provided the direction that I needed to remain a rock-solid speaker and coach when so many others have fallen.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire my grandfather, Phillip Di Lemme Sr., who was full blooded, hard-nosed Italian born and raised in New York. He taught people how to paint on the streets of Manhattan and didn’t open up his first art gallery until he was 66 years young. I spent half my life in that gallery learning from my grandfather, and I’m confident that I wouldn’t be the man that I am today if it weren’t for him. One of the greatest things that I admire about my grandfather is that when he gave you his word, you could count on it. He always followed through and stayed committed, no matter if it was family, business, or a random stranger. He was always true to his word. We need more of that in business today. My grandfather also had undeniable loyalty to his family and business, plus he never compromised his beliefs or did anything that would make others question his integrity. That is the foundation of not only my business, but also who I am as a person. Lastly, I greatly admired my grandfather, because he cared about people. It seems like a small thing, but one of the most honorable things that we can do in life is to lift up another person.
What is one piece of advice you could share with our readers to uplift them in life/career?
My number one piece of advice would be to stay committed. Press on and press through, no matter what obstacles or adversity you face. If you waiver on your commitment, then you are in danger of losing out on everything in life and business that you were born to achieve. I’ve seen so many people quit when their breakthrough was right around the corner. Don’t let that be you! Let your frustration drive you and make you so mad that you refuse to ever quit. Stay focused on your Why (ultimate purpose in life) and committed to achieving it.
What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is Uncommon Friends by James Newton. It tells the tremendous story of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindbergh. It cements my belief that you are who you surround yourself with in life and business.
What do you do to relax?
What I do to relax is eat healthy and exercise. I actually love exercising and eating healthy, because I love feeling stronger. I'm 52 years young and the strongest that I've ever been physically. That relaxes me! When you aren’t constantly worried about your health, you can actually enjoy life. I also love learning, reading, and writing. I’m a fanatic about marketing so I read the Wall Street Journal business and finance section every day along with other business publications plus I immerse myself in daily personal development teachings. I’m a student of the industry and a product of what I do as a speaker and coach. It relaxes me to know that my own personal habits keep me at the top of my game and empower me to change lives through my career.
What are some of the challenges you face as a speaker, expert or coach and how do you overcome those?
I can say confidently that the biggest challenge that I face right now is the jaw-dropping success of my clients. The average person simply cannot believe that my clients are having such radical results in their lives and businesses. When a potential client gets introduced to my business, they are overwhelmed by my client reviews. How do I overcome this challenge? I focus my marketing on my client reviews. My potential clients (and yours) want to hear from Real People with Real Results so I let my client reviews speak for the enormous success of my business. This qualifies me as a topnotch speaker and coach in the minds of my clients and anyone else that sees my marketing.
How do you see the world of coaching and speaking evolve over the next 5 years?
Right now, I see the industry being pruned and trimmed like a humongous orchard. There are a lot of wannabe speakers and so-called certified coaches (bad fruit) that will never make it in the industry long-term, because they don’t have the experience, knowledge, or the actual right to be responsible for the lives of others. That bad fruit will eventually sour and fall away. However, I have also seen some rising stars that are true students of the industry that are blossoming into great speakers. After 18 years in the industry, I can tell you that no matter how hard someone tries, you cannot hide who you really are in the coaching and speaking industry. Your true character will be revealed – good or bad. That’s why you must stay focused on honesty, integrity, and loyalty if you want to succeed. Plus, you must produce real results in the lives of your clients or audience. Rah rah junk won't get you very far these days! People want to know that your coaching and speaking will bring about change in their lives and businesses. The key to stay relevant in this industry is to learn from those that have done it. That has been a major focus in my career, and I was blessed to share the stage with the greatest speakers in the world early on including Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley, Les Brown, Dr. John Maxwell, and many others. Plus, I immerse myself in the teachings of giants like Coach Herb Brooks, Coach Jimmy Valvano, Coach Vince Lombardi, and many other powerhouses that have instilled in me an unwavering commitment to my responsibility as a speaker and coach.
What technology can't you live without?
That's easy. As a speaker and coach, I can't live without email. Communication with my clients is the top priority in my business, and email is the fastest way to correspond directly with every single client on my list. Plus building a list is hugely important in everyone's business, and you can't do that without email. Communicating with your clients leads to developing long-term, trusting relationships as they get to know you not only as business owner, but also as a person. I've seen so many businesses fail, because they don't communicate with their customers. Email is the greatest technology that we have today at our fingertips that will build client loyalty that will sustain your business for years to come.
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